This year’s Stanley Cup Final has been a rollercoaster ride, to say the least. The Canucks coughed up a 2-0 lead in the series with two lackluster efforts in Boston, followed by another close win in Vancouver, followed by another subpar effort in Beantown. So what’s in store for Game 7? Here’s what we do know heading into the most important game of the season:
- As implied earlier, the home team has won every game in this series.
- The team that has scored first has won every game in this series.
- In Stanley Cup Final history, the home team has won 12 of 15 Game 7’s. However, the road team won the last Game 7 (Pittsburgh over Detroit in 2009).
- Roberto Luongo has been yanked twice in Boston, while he allowed eight goals in the game that he wasn’t pulled. In total, he has allowed 15 goals in the three games at TD Garden.
- Luongo also has two shutouts in this series, both at home. There’s a stat you won’t hear about as often.
- Luongo will take a walk on Vancouver’s seawall during the afternoon prior to Game 7. He did this before Game 7 against Chicago and before Game 5 against Boston. Both times, the Canucks won. If you happen to be there on Wednesday afternoon and see a dude with a hoodie listening to music, don’t stop and ask him for his autograph. Give him his space.
- Tim Thomas has allowed just eight goals in the six games played in this series. He is a slam dunk to win the Conn Smythe Trophy, win or lose.
- Mark Recchi is now tied for the career Stanley Cup Final scoring lead, including 12 points in his last 13 SCF games.
- Recchi started his NHL career three years before Tyler Seguin was born. He is expected to announce his retirement if the Bruins win the Stanley Cup.
- Many believe that injuries are taking a greater toll on the Bruins, who are without Nathan Horton and Marc Savard. However, the Canucks will enter Game 7 without two top-6 forwards (Mikael Samuelsson and Mason Raymond), a top-4 defenseman (Dan Hamhuis), and a defenseman who can move up to the forward lines in a pinch (Aaron Rome). Neither team should use injuries as an excuse, though. A major reason that both teams won their divisions was having the depth to overcome these injuries.
- Despite being tied in the series, the Bruins have outscored the Canucks 19-8 in the series. The Canucks could theoretically win the Stanley Cup despite being outscored at over a 2:1 margin in the series.
- The Bruins’ problem? They scored just two of their 19 goals on the road, both in the second period of Game 2.
- The Canucks’ power play, ranked first in the NHL during the regular season and expected to be a huge advantage for the final, has scored just two times in 30 attempts. Yet many casual observers assume the Canucks’ predicament is all Luongo’s fault.
- My Ryan Kesler prediction hasn’t exactly come true. Kesler has just one assist during the six-game series and is obviously battling some kind of injury.
Got more facts? Predictions? Post ‘em below. The only prediction I’m going to make is that the game will be decided by one goal (even though I know which team I’ll be pulling for). That means Luongo and the Canucks will show up. After all, it’s a Game 7. They don’t need any other motivation.
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